FDOH: Number of Florida children diagnosed with COVID-19 has more than doubled

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SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – The number of children diagnosed with COVID-19 in Florida has more than doubled, according to the latest statistics from the Florida Department of Health.

According to officials, COVID-19 cases among children in Florida have increased by 137% in the past month. Hospitalizations among children have also increased by 105%.

However, at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Southwest Miami-Dade admission rates have remained about the same since May.

“Parents should be reassured that we’re not seeing an increase in hospital admissions, and certainly ICU admissions, from the uptick in positivity rates,” Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Dr. G. Keith Meyer said. “They should also keep an eye on their children, remain vigilant, and any child who has a high fever, abdominal pain, difficulty breathing, they should call their pediatrician or healthcare provider for support and assistance.”

Although the death rate remains low in children, Florida has lost seven children to the virus.

Dr. William A. Haseltine, an infectious disease expert, broke down the age groups affected by the virus, beginning with ages 0 to 5.

“Children are at risk, and they should wear masks,” Haseltine said. “They’re highly infectious to other people. It turns out they have 1,000 times more virus in their nose than you need to infect.”

He added that children between 6 years old and 12 years old are most at risk, and those between 13 years old and 19 years old are similar to adults.

“They’re just like adults,” Haseltine said. “If you look at the number of people who are now hospitalized, the bulk of people who are now hospitalized, they’re from 15 to 60.”

The spike in numbers may be linked to a greater emphasis on testing people and more children who are back in circulation.

“We’re going to put 50 million more kids in close contact,” Haseltine said. “I think you’re waiting for a second fire to erupt. You’re pouring fuel on a raging fire.”

Meyer said on any given day at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, there are about four children in the Intensive Care Unit battling an illness related to COVID-19.

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